Thursday, October 6, 2011

From The Heart

I often wonder why people have such a difficult time speaking from their heart.  You would think it would be easy to say "I love you" to someone you love; yet so many hesitate, waiting for the other person to say it first or  say "you know how I feel" rather than actually vocalizing how they feel.  Yet we have no trouble letting them know when they disappoint us, hurt us, let us down; and often in no uncertain terms.

Considering all the things we say to people throughout the course of a day, you would think that expressing love would be the nicest thing we could say.  Those three little words convey a depth of emotion, a heart to heart connection,  giving support, faith, encouragement, warmth, security, trust, unconditional love, all wrapped up together.  Everyone loves to hear the words, yet how often do we say them?  Why are we always waiting for the other person to say them first?

What fear holds us back from saying it?  Is it really just the fear of "what if they don't say it back?"  Or is it the fear of being vulnerable and open?  Why do we fear trusting those we love?  After all, if we can't be vulnerable and open with those we love, then who can we be open and vulnerable with?

Perhaps it's the constant monkey mind chatter (that incessant voice in your head) telling you all the reasons why you are unlovable and why you shouldn't let others know you care.  Or perhaps it's society's influence that "you've got to be tough", "never let them see you cry", "don't give them something they can use against you"  somehow turning an admission of love into a weakness rather than a strength.

Yet if you really think about it, love is the ultimate strength.  Knowing you are loved gives you courage, whether it's the courage to try something new, to heal from an illness, to forgive a transgression, to reach out to someone in need; it all comes from being loved and loving others.  There is comfort and security in knowing you are loved; that there are people in your life who know who you are and love you unconditionally simply because you are you.  While you know it in your heart, hearing it from time to time makes your heart sing, lifts your spirits and gives you a sense of joy and belonging.

To be loved is a wonderful thing; to tell others you love them is a gift beyond measure.  Isn't it time to speak from the heart and say those three little words....I Love You.   Do it, do it now...there are people in your life who need to hear it and feel it.  If you truly love them, tell them.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Victim Within

Since we have four archetypes which are common to all humanity, I thought perhaps in would be wise to provide insight into each of them.  Last month we took a look at the Saboteur, the Guardian of Choice, this month, let's explore the realm of the Victim, the Guardian of Self-Esteem.

Ah the Victim, we've all been there, in Victim mode at least once in our lives and if we are honest with ourselves likely a lot more than once.  Like the Saboteur, it can be difficult to see a Light side to the Victim especially when we are all so very familiar with the Shadow side.  We have all had times where we felt like a victim, whether it was a victim of circumstance or situations where we felt we had been taken advantage of and victimized by others.  The challenge we face is do we fall into our Shadow Victim or do we step forward into our Light Victim?

In it's Shadow aspect, the Victim steps into the energy of "poor me".  Helpless, defenseless, unable to do anything to change what is going on in life.   From this place the Victim has no voice, no boundaries, and no real desire to create change.  It's hard to believe, to really grasp why someone, anyone, would want to remain in a situation that appears to cause them pain, hardship, grief and struggle; yet somewhere, beneath all that negative stuff is a "gain".  A "gain" is the reason they stay stuck in the Shadow aspect; they are meeting some need through their Shadow Victim.  To give you a feel for what a gain is, so you will recognize it when you see it and hear it, I'll give you some examples.

"No one ever helps me,  I have to do everything myself."
The Shadow Victim may be looking for attention in the form of sympathy; or rather than directly asking for help or admitting they need help uses guilt to try to manipulate others into volunteering to help.

"I don't have time for myself or to take care of myself, I have so many responsibilities and have to take care of...."  The Shadow Victim perhaps looking for praise; i.e "You're so good to be taking care of them" or validation/justification for neglecting their own well-being: "No wonder you don't have time for yourself, you are so busy".

Then there are the medical Shadow Victims, the ones with health issues.  I'm talking about those individuals who are constantly talking about how bad their condition is, how nothing helps, how they suffer; and who are likely doing nothing to improve their own well-being.  These are the individuals who won't see a doctor or if they do see a doctor won't follow the doctor's advice.  They have a long list of excuses why they can't do what they should be doing to improve their health, excuses like "I don't have the time/money/energy to do that" and at the same time give you a long list of why you should be more sympathetic, more patient, more helpful, perhaps even visit more often.  Here the Shadow Victim is gaining sympathy, attention, and often uses their health to manipulate and guilt others into doing things for them.

As long as the Shadow Victim still finds a 'gain' there is no reason to change behaviour; they are, getting their needs met.  However, after a while others grow tired and resentful of the Shadow Victim and draw away, creating reasons and excuses in order to avoid being sucked into someone's Shadow Victim pattern.  At this point one of two things happen, either the Shadow Victim 'ups' the drama, illness, demands OR they decide to make changes in their lives to improve their situation rather than moaning about it.

Stepping out of the Shadow and into the Light aspect of the Victim brings an individual the opportunity to build their confidence, self-esteem, create boundaries and to speak their needs in healthy ways.  Here in the Light aspect is where the Victim becomes the Guardian of Self-Esteem.  This may be a little mind-bendy, to really grasp.  Even saying it, "The Victim is the Guardian of Self-Esteem" may sound strange, yet when we delve into it, it will make perfect sense.

In the Light aspect is where we are able to set healthy boundaries, saying 'no' when we don't want to do something. When we are confident in who we are, we are no longer afraid that saying 'no' means others will stop liking or loving us.  The Light aspect of the Victim allows us to step forward into who we really are, into our own empowerment, giving voice to our thoughts and feelings; we are honest with ourselves and others.  We become true to ourselves and in turn allow others to see who we really are rather than just seeing the mask we have been wearing for years.   It brings us to the point where the judgments of others no longer impacts us and that in itself is freeing.

Step out of the Shadow and into the Light of your Victim archetype and set yourself free.